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How Font Choices Can Cost Your Business Millions

Custom branding for your company doesn’t have to be seen as an expense and in some special cases it can actually end up saving you millions of dollars.

The way a company designs their logo or branding guidelines usually includes fonts that are available on all computers. The use of universal fonts means the fonts are displayed correctly and legible across all devices and mediums and have been tried and tested. When your company takes off and becomes as big as Netflix or Apple this can lead to you owing millions of dollars a year to type foundries. It's recently became a trend for successful companies to design their own fonts to avoid this issue, below is a timeline for the introduction of some of the more popular ones.

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Timeline of custom fonts.

Within the last ten years these foundries have switched to an impression-based licensing for typefaces, leading to huge costs for the top businesses as they are seen by millions of users a day. Type foundries are companies that design and distribute fonts such as Netflix’s previous use of the ‘Gotham’ font. The spiraling costs of using the ‘Gotham’ font led to Netflix designing its own ‘Netflix Sans’ font.

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Netflix Sans font.

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Netflix Sans used in Marketing of Netflix Original shows.

The rise of custom fonts wasn't something seen within most companies until the workplace went digital. The increase in computer usage meant your font had to be consistent across the likes of logos, websites, letterheads, internal and external documents, to name a few.

"While it was possible, financially and technically, to design and produce a typeface exclusively for the use of one company, it was not really feasible. Once, however, the same personal computer that was used to design typefaces and produce fonts was also used as the main communication tool inside companies, it became easier to convince marketing and technical people alike that fonts were meant for more than the occasional campaign headline, and easier to implement than new versions of Windows."

― Erik Spiekermann (German Typographer & Designer)

This use of custom fonts doesn’t only appear on digital assets, Apple originally used the ‘Vag Rounded’ typeface on all of its keyboards since 1999. With the release of the Apple Watch they switched over to a custom created ‘San Francisco’ font due to legibility and cost issues and eventually rolled this font out to all of its Mac Book keyboards.

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Comparison of Vag Rounded and San Francisco fonts.

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San Francisco font on Apple Keyboard.

It’s important to think of the font you use within branding and what it says about your company. While you may not need a custom typeface it's still a big decision to protect your companies interests in the future. Here at iperdesign we will take you through and create a branding guideline and logo that will last your company into the distant future, while remaining timeless and avoiding the potential pitfalls of bad branding decisions. Contact us or check out our Branding page for more information.

Image Sources: arun.is , nextweb.com , wikipedia.com , pintrest.com
By Jonathan George